FAQs

No. The Building Code of Australia specifies chemical and physical termite barriers only where structural components are subject to termite attack. A steel frame is resistant to termite attack and a house built with a steel frame without a termite barrier is a reasonably safe option for an owner. The safest possible options are a steel frame plus non-structural fixtures of termite-resistant materials, or a steel frame plus a termite barrier.
Almost unlimited. Your local steel frame fabricators are capable of producing virtually any of the single or two-storey home designs seen in the Australian domestic housing market today. Steel framing is especially suitable for difficult or sloping sites.
Yes! Zinc coated (“galvanized”) and zinc/aluminium alloy coated steels are protected from cut-edge corrosion by galvanic action – the coating adjacent to the edge or hole protects the cut area.
It’s superior. Because there is no shrinkage, cornices in steel framed houses can be expected to perform better and look better than in houses of other framing materials.
Yes. Actually they look better! Walls and ceilings do not have ripples or bumps in them, there are no “nail pops” in plasterboard walls, no shrinkage in intermediate floor joists and no sagging roofs.
Steel is a superior product for long term investment, with added advantages. Steel is light and strong, does not burn, is termite and borer proof and is dimensionally stable – it will not shrink or warp. Steel framing will ensure the structural integrity and high standard of finish of the building long into the future. Using steel is environmentally responsible.
Very competitively! Due to innovative steel framing system technology, standard house designs can be built at a reasonable price. If you compare a steel frame with a frame of the highest possible quality termite-resistant timber, the price will be competitive.
Yes. Steel frames are safe because frames are earthed and all new housing is now required to be fitted with RCD safety switches.
No. The use of lighter gauge materials in the frames allows the use of inexpensive needle point screws, or self drilling screws. This may take a little extra effort but they will never spring out. Nailing, or a combination of nails and screws, may also be used to reduce costs, depending on the application and framing system.
No. The studs and plates can have pre-punched holes to facilitate easy cable installation, and grommets are fitted to protect the cable sheathing.
No. In fact some trades benefit. For example, with some systems bricklayers can install the brick ties completely by simply clipping them into the stud. Normally the close up carpenter would fix the brick ties after the brick layer has finished. Plasterers find it easy to work with steel framing because it is so straight and true. Tradesmen who install kitchen and bathroom fixtures similarly find it easy.

Timber Frames

All builders usually build with Cypress treated pine or hardwood timber. Termite infestation in timber is one of a builder’s (and homeowner’s) greatest fears. Ford Timbers has addressed this in its new range of termite resistant, dead straight DPR Plus structural hardwood products – ideal for all bearer, joist and framing applications. The new DPR Plus range is made from specially selected CCA treated, termite resistant hardwood species, which exhibit low shrinkage characteristics. There are a number of features, which make DPR Plus products so different. These include:

All DPR hardwood products (including the new DPR Plus range) are available for use as framing, sub floor framing, roof trusses, lintels, rafters, battens and posts. They are particularly popular for pergolas, decks, exposed joists and pole home framing.

A modern steel frame house is normally made of a steel frame and an outer supporting wall of brick. A modern timber frame house replaces the steel frame with a timber frame strong enough to carry all the loads of the house. The plasterboard usually covers this internally and a brick, stone or timber ‘siding’ external finish.

Yes. A new timber frame home will last as well as (if not better than) any other type of new home. Softwood timber frame houses have been built in the UK since the 19th Century and are still going strong. Your timber frame home will still be there for your great grandchildren to enjoy – and beyond.

No. Typically, timber frame houses are clad in brick and look like any other house. But a range of materials is suitable, e.g. stone, block and render, or timber boarding.

Yes. Modern timber frame systems enjoy better acoustic insulation qualities than masonry and fully conform to- or exceed- the latest Building Regulations. So, while you’ll stay on speaking terms with your neighbours, it won’t be through the wall!

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